Trump dominates Turning Point Action Summit straw poll with 'BLOWOUT' victory over all other candidates

 July 18, 2023

The 2024 Republican primary contest has effectively been a two-man race since the start, with former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis being widely viewed as the top two contenders for the nomination to challenge President Joe Biden for the White House.

Though there are still several months to go before primary voting begins, Trump appears to have substantially broadened his lead over DeSantis, at least among attendees of the annual Turning Point Action Summit that was held this weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Associated Press reported.

The former president dominated a straw poll of the event's predominately young adult attendees over the Florida governor this year, in sharp contrast to the more evenly split results of last year's event in Tampa, Florida.

Trump dominates straw poll

The Turning Point Action Summit straw poll was conducted by the Trafalgar Group, and former President Trump clearly won that contest as being the first choice of 85.7 percent of attendees to be the Republican Party nominee in 2024.

He was followed distantly by businessman Perry Johnson in second place with 7.8 percent, Gov. DeSantis in third with 4.3 percent, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in fourth with 2 percent. No other candidate garnered enough votes to register in the poll.

As for who attendees would choose as their second choice to be the GOP nominee, Ramaswamy drew 51.2 percent in that regard, followed by Trump in second with 21.4 percent, DeSantis in third with 13.5 percent, and all others foundering with single-digit support or less.

The pollsters also asked attendees who should be the GOP vice presidential nominee, and former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake won that contest with 30.8 percent support, followed by Florida Rep. Byron Donalds with 24 percent, Ramaswamy with 22.7 percent, and every other possible VP choice only drawing single-digit support, including DeSantis with 5.2 percent.

DeSantis likely hurt by non-attendance at summit

Part of what led to the lop-sided result in favor of former President Trump in the Turning Point Action Summit straw poll is the fact that Gov. DeSantis did not attend this year's event, according to the AP, which frustrated some attendees and even resulted in some booing from the crowd and had the effect of transforming the summit into a largely pro-Trump gathering.

DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin told the Washington Examiner of the decision not to attend the summit, "Governor DeSantis spent the day with Iowans and spoke to a packed house at the Tennessee GOP Statesman Dinner later that night. This was a day after he delivered the strongest interview at the Family Leadership Summit, which Donald Trump notably skipped. Ron DeSantis is campaigning to win."

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk told the Examiner, "The straw poll demonstrates that President Trump remains the single most dominant force among the conservative grassroots. All the attacks against him have seemingly made him even stronger and more popular among the conservative faithful."

As for DeSantis, Kirk added, "What’s also clear is that Governor DeSantis’ decision not to come to this event probably hurt his showing in this poll. There are a lot of people here who have a lot of respect for the governor and what he’s done in Florida, but I was approached multiple times by attendees telling me they were disappointed he didn’t come, and that’s evident in the poll results."

Trump brags about "BLOWOUT" victory in straw poll

Following the release of the straw poll results, former President Trump took to his Truth Social account and posted, "Just heard that I (WE!) won the big Turning Point Straw Poll in a BLOWOUT, getting 85.7 percent of the Vote. Ron DeSanctimonious came in a solid 3rd with 4.3 percent, Vivek got 2 percent, and Sloppy Chris Christie, as usual, got a big, fat, ZERO! Turning Point put on a GREAT event in West Palm Beach, setting all kinds of records, including in attendance!"

To be sure, the attendees at the Turning Point Action Summit are not broadly representative of the entire Republican Party electorate, and though the organization has supported and worked with Gov. DeSantis in the past, it quite clearly favors the former president over the Florida governor.

As for the national polls, Trump definitely dominates the competition but not by quite as wide of a margin, as the RealClearPolitics average of GOP primary polls shows that Trump has 53.7 percent support, a 33.5-point lead over second place DeSantis with 20.2 percent, with all others mired in the low single digits in terms of their support for the nomination.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.